Software Development Sins

Given that the Vatican has recently released a statement describing a modern set of sins, it seems appropriate for me to expound (no, not pontificate) on the sins that can occur in a software development project. I was tempted to title this "The Seven Deadly Sins of Software Development" but (a) it's a cliche and (b) it's been done before. Many times. (Search for "software seven deadly sins" and you'll see what I mean.)

More to the point, these sins aren't necessarily deadly. They might even occur on successful software projects. Such software projects might be a lot more painful than they would be in the absence of these sins. So, perhaps these sins can be considered venial. I'm not sure if Wikipedia's theology is to be trusted, but I'll run with it. The criteria listed for a sin to be considered venial ("forgivable") is that (a) it does not concern a grave matter, (b) it is committed without full knowledge (in other words, in ignorance), or (c) that it is committed without deliberate and complete consent. Most sins committed during software projects meet one or more of these criteria.

In addition, I didn't want to constrain myself to seven sins. I'm sure I could come up with seven but I might have to pad the list a bit. On the other hand, I might think of more later, so I've made this an open-ended list. Always the optimist, I say.

Meanwhile, on to the first sin!

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